David Smith

Nov 102017
 

Well, that’s Fright Night done, and what a corker it was! A fine collection of horror-themed writing and one hell of a tasty mort cake (as per) courtesy of Katrina Ray. Thank you, m’dear – Mr Kipling would give his right arm… While a long way off, it’s always a good idea to strike while the iron is hot, so if those contributing readings start firing their stories across to me on Facebook messaging I’ll start collating them ready for next year’s Fright Night Volume 4 e-book.

So, as the title of this blog highlights, time marches on, and it will seem but the blink of an eye before The Season of Goodwill is upon us. Very much time, then, to put pen to paper and get this year’s Christmas Countdown contributions sorted. While Christmas itself is still some… (starts counting on fingers)… six weeks away we’ve only got half that time to get the first pieces ready to roll out at the beginning of December. The remit for this year’s project can be found HERE, where a contact form connecting you directly to Sue Marlow (editor-in-chief this year) can also be found. So get weaving!

Sticking with Christmas, the other biggy on the agenda is our annual “do” scheduled for December 12th, which will also be our last (official) meetup of 2017. The “do” tradition started in the very earliest days of TWWs when there was just a handful of people in a local curry shop, and has continued, at various wonderful venues, to go from strength to strength. This will be our third at St John’s Yard, and we feel sure that this year’s offering will be every bit as special as the previous events, so don’t miss out. Katrina Ray is organising this year and would like your RSVPs, food orders and deposits (£10.00) ASAP so she can get her spreadsheet organised. Tuesday’s meetup would be perfect for getting that done and dusted, but details of the menu can also be found HERE and on the group’s Facebook page.

Finally, but in no way leastly (?), we have an extra event this week in the wonderful form of READ YOUR WORDS at Javabean Cafe on Wednesday night. These reading nights, hosted by Carolyn Gray, are always great fun, and an excellent opportunity for new members to cut their reading-in-public teeth while networking with other writers, poets and performers in the TW area. Full details HERE.

The devilishly clever Katrina Ray guarding her cake from Mr Kipling’s spies… 

 

Kat & Cake courtesy of Peppy Scott. Background courtesy of FreeImages.com

Oct 272017
 

 

A quick but timely reminder that this Tuesday’s meetup is FRIGHT NIGHT, when we’ll be reading ALL NEW stories and poems for Halloween and eating mort cake. There will be the-putting-up-of-willies to the extreme with around a baker’s dozen (how apt!) readers, but plenty of breaks for replenishing poisoned chalices and goblets. All comers are bid welcome, so if you’ve been toying with the idea of coming along to a meetup this would be a good one to get a feel for what we’re about. Carved pumpkins, fancy dress and trick-or-treat treats optional but greatly encouraged.

      Oh… PS: If you fancy free books – three volumes of Fright Night plus a clutch of others – click HERE

Original illustrations courtesy of FREEPIK

Oct 142017
 

Well here we are, two weeks into October with a definite nip in the air. How depressing. Ho hum…

On the plus side, we Tunbridge Wells Writers have several rather lovely things on the horizon, what with our Halloween Fright Night at the end of the month, another Read Your Words in November and our Seasonal Project and annual “do” in December. That’s us sorted then!

If you fancy joining us you would be made very welcome. Fright Night and/or Read Your Words would ease you in very gently and entertainingly, but if you would like to get involved as a reader for Fright Night it would probably be worthwhile to come along and introduce yourself this Tuesday (17th) to get a bit more info. We’ll be in St John’s Yard from 8:00pm, and would love to have you onboard.

Sep 292017
 

Another FREE e-book for Halloween, with spooky stuff penned by a dozen of our writers for last year’s FRIGHT NIGHT evening. We’ll have bags of new stories for this year’s celebration, which is a biggy, given that it falls on Halloween itself and is our FIFTH such event. Feel free to join us to hear live readings and enjoy a slice (or two) of Katrina Ray’s legendary mort cake! Fancy dress optional, but given the date you might find yourself the only square in the village if you don’t…

In addition to Fright Night we will also be getting up to speed on all things Christmassy at this week’s meet, with news of our annual CHRISTMAS “DO” (don’t!) and our seasonal online ADVENT CALENDAR, so if you’ve toyed with the idea of joining us but haven’t got round to it now would be a good time to get involved.

So that’s Tuesday 3rd at St John’s Yard from eight, then, and you would be made most welcome.

Sep 032017
 

Well technically the ‘busy’ comes later, but at our next meeting on Tuesday September 5th the Tunbridge Wells Writers will be contemplating the things that will be be keeping them harmlessly occupied over the next few months. This will include plans for our FIFTH Halloween FRIGHT NIGHT and our third Fright Night story collection, which we’ll be launching very soon, as well as our annual ADVENT CALENDAR coming in December.

The bits and bobs mentioned are, of course, only the tip of a much larger battenberg iceberg, so if you’ve clicked on the links and feel these are the kinds of thing you would like to be involved in we’ll be at St John’s Yard from 8:00 onwards. Feel free to just rock up and say hi, or if you prefer you can let us know in advance using the comments or contact boxes provided and we’ll keep an eye out for you.

Aug 182017
 

August almost done? Gosh – doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?! Yes, it does, but with our last meetup before we slip into September only days away the Tunbridge Wells Writers are already starting to think about the nights drawing in and the lovely autumn / winter projects that lie ahead…

FRIGHT NIGHT – our annual celebration of Halloween – looks set to be an extra extra special one this year, given that our regular Tuesday meetup falls on the very night itself. Not only that, but a quick shufti at the back catalogue informs us that this will be our FIFTH YEAR of communing with the ghosties and ghoulies, so we’ll be pulling out all the stops on this one. I haven’t got round to creating a dedicated page for this year’s Fright Night yet (darn it, I been awfu’ busy for the past few weeks and time just seems to have gotten away from me…), but in a nutshell we’re talking about a wonderfully spooky evening of ghost and horror stories by candlelight to which we bid all a very vampy velcome. There’s cake too (magnificent marvelous mort cake, courtesy of Mistress of the Macabre, Katrina Ray), and pumpkins, and fancy dress, and cobwebs and… and… Well, let’s just say it’s an extremely entertaining evening whether taking the plunge and reading or just coming along to listen. More details soon, with an e-book of last year’s stories uploaded to our Smashwords page just beforehand to whet your appetites.

Though horrifyingly early to be mentioning the dreaded “C” word the simple truth is that CHRISTMAS (in whatever guise you take or eschew it) will soon be upon us too. We took a wee break last year from our usual twenty-four day advent offering, but truth be told we missed it. This year’s theme, proposed by Sue Marlow, is a prompt taken from the opening line of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather:  Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree…  We invite all Tunbridge Wells Writers (and would be Tunbridge Wells Writers) to take inspiration from Mr Pratchett’s words and pen a tale or poem or play or monologue or whatever else takes their fancy for us to share with the world over the festive season.

So there you have it. We’ll be discussing these projects and much more besides from 8:00 on Tuesday evening. We’d love to have you join us: for full details of venue and ground rules (first rule of TWWs – there are no ground rules!) just click on the highlighted date in the event calendar on the right.

IN OTHER NEWS: If you happen to be in Tonbridge on Sunday afternoon several of the group’s poets will be doing their thing in the open air between four and five as part of the community event Invite a Tree to Tea – a ‘family picnic with Music, Arts & Crafts, Spoken Word, and Games’ taking place on the banks of the beautiful Med at River Lawn. It would be lovely to see you…

Aug 042017
 

As our last meeting was our Flash Fiction reading night our next meeting (Tuesday 8th) will be a nice, relaxed affair with nowt on the agenda but networking and social. Lovely! As the short story collection is now well into the editing phase Justin has suggested that those interested could have a chat about marketing strategies, so there will be a bit of that going on too!

For those who couldn’t make the Flash Fiction night Kat has produced a pdf file containing contributions, which is available for GROUP MEMBERS from our facebook page. We’ve restricted access to this particular collaboration because some members felt they might want to submit their stories elsewhere and didn’t want to fall foul of any copyright requirements, but for non-members who might be interested there is a wealth of FREE material available from Smashwords. Aren’t we generous?

IN OTHER NEWS: Mentioned briefly at the last meet but with only sketchy details available, a WORD UP poetry slam has been announced for Wednesday August 16th at Tunbridge Wells Forum. The headliner is three time world champion slam poet Buddy Wakefield, with support from some local poet you’ve probably never heard of…

Jul 212017
 

Well here we are just a weekend and a bit away from our next meetup, and in case you had forgotten it’s our FLASH FICTION reading night. Very straightforward, so don’t feel intimidated if you’re a TWW virgin thinking of coming along: Short Fiction, anywhere between 6 (yes SIX – blame Hemingway with his “For sale, wedding dress, never worn” classic) and 750 words, for reading aloud. It’s been suggested that, given time constraints, it might be better to keep the upper limit to 500 words, so if you’re going to start writing now work to that. No worries, though, if you’ve already got a slightly longer one in the bag based on our earlier post – I’m sure we can accommodate you.

IN OTHER NEWS: Read Your Words at Javabean last week was, as always, a wonderful and fun evening, but all the more special as a celebration of our lovely host Debbie’s FIFTH YEAR of trading. Congratulations and heartfelt thanks from all of us, and here’s to the next five!

Jul 102017
 

PLEASE NOTE: The Flash Fiction Reading Night proposed for tomorrow evening has been put on the back burner until our next meeting on July 25th. This is to accommodate several regular members who can’t make tomorrow, and to make sure we’re all fresh and up to speed for READ YOUR WORDS on Thursday night. Of course, we will still be meeting as usual and there will be lots of interesting stuff going on, so it’s still well worth the trip to St John’s Yard to join in. Hope to see you there, and/or at Javabean later in the week.

Jul 072017
 

Hello writers!

Double the fun this coming week with our regular meet at St John’s Yard on Tuesday, as well as that bi-monthly extra-curricular treat that is Read Your Words on Thursday. Not only that, but Tuesday is, if memory serves correctly, our Flash Fiction reading night. I’ve been asked, for the sake of timings, to slightly amend the rules for FF by implementing a 500 word limit rather than the 750 suggested by Wikipedia and quoted in a previous post. That said, I’m sure nobody will mind if that information has arrived too late for a few, just so long as nobody takes the pee.  As for Read Your Words at Javabean, the usual rules apply – anything you like up to 10 minutes but NO incomplete readings (i.e. excerpts from novels etc) and NO singing. Even me. *tsk*

If you’re not a TWW but like the sound of the above please feel free to join us from 8:00 on Tuesday. You’ll find us in the bar to begin with, and then in the Library Room from around 8:15 – 8:30. If in doubt ask the lovely ladies behind the bar. For further details of Read Your Words click on the links or Thursday’s date on the event calendar on the right…

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